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Up and Over

Posted August 11, 2013

PART 15 (DAYS 33-35): “How’s everything here?” I asked Chris, the manager at Southern Laughter Lodge, when I arrived back in Queenstown for a day in order to catch a homeward bound flight early the following morning.

“Oh, it’s quiet. It’s finally slowing down,” he answered.

“Oh, is the ski season over?”

“No, the season can go all the way until October,” he told me. “But all the Aussie kids have gone back to university.”

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New Friend For New Year’s

From the trip blog: "The Global Trip 2004: Sixteen Months Around The World"
Posted January 01, 2004

DAY 72:  Arequipa, Peru’s second largest city, is nestled in the valley of three volcanoes.  The lava of these volcanoes have hardened over geological history to form the white-colored rock known as sillar, which many of the buildings were made of — hence, Arequipa’s nickname, “The White City.”

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The Redemption Cookie

From the trip blog: "The Global Trip 2004: Sixteen Months Around The World"
Posted December 29, 2003

DAY 71:  I was up by seven o’clock in the morning to see Lara off before she left with her transport to her 4-day/3-night trek to Machu Picchu — a trek I had already done in 2001.  It was her goal to ring in 2004 by entering the “lost” city of the Incas on the morning of New Year’s Day.  She left the hostel by 8 a.m. with her new fleece, the cheesy water bottle holder I got her for Christmas and rations of Twix bars and Oreos.

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The (Andean) Village People

From the trip blog: "The Global Trip 2004: Sixteen Months Around The World"
Posted December 28, 2003

DAY 70: “Guess what,” I asked Lara at an early morning breakfast before our day trip to the Sacred Valley.  “I got a traditional Andean band to play ‘Y.M.C.A.’ tonight at 8:30.”

“Excellent,” she said.  We were both looking forward to it.  I even sent out an e-mail to The Ohio Boys about it in case they got back from Machu Picchu in time.

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Two Women, A Llama and The Bird

From the trip blog: "The Global Trip 2004: Sixteen Months Around The World"
Posted December 27, 2003

DAY 69:  I was having breakfast at the cafe across the street from the hostel when I noticed the same two women I had noticed at various places in town almost everyday.  They were two local women who dressed in traditional Andean clothes that walked around with a llama, asking tourists if they wanted to take their picture for a small fee.  The Ecuadorean group in the cafe ran out to pose with them, while I stayed inside and finished my yogurt, fruit and granola bowl.

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Catch Him If You Can

From the trip blog: "The Global Trip 2004: Sixteen Months Around The World"
Posted December 26, 2003

DAY 68:  Some people would say that the best invention since sliced bread is the “snooze” button.  You know it and its contribution to Mankind — why wake up and face reality when all you have to do is simply push a button and stay in dream land another ten minutes?

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Christmas in Cusco

From the trip blog: "The Global Trip 2004: Sixteen Months Around The World"
Posted December 25, 2003

DAY 67: I woke up to the sound of firecrackers in the streets early in the morning — the kids had been setting them off all night.  For me, the sounds of Christmas morning sounded more like the sounds of the Fourth of July.

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Horses for Hangovers

From the trip blog: "The Global Trip 2004: Sixteen Months Around The World"
Posted December 25, 2003

DAY 66:  It’s one thing to be hungover after a night of boozing, but it’s another to be hungover when you haven’t yet acclimatized to the thin oxygen 11,000 ft. above sea level.  I woke up feeling just awful (but with no regrets) and laid in bed questioning why I was alive — Lara felt the same way.  We weren’t sure if it was the pisco or the altitude, but perhaps it was a little from Column A and a little from Column B.

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On the Trail of Lara Croft

From the trip blog: "The Global Trip 2004: Sixteen Months Around The World"
Posted December 24, 2003

DAY 65: In 1996, the adventure video game Tomb Raider was born, starring the full-lipped, big-breasted virtual heroine Lara Croft.  The gun-toting Lara adventured around the world in search of artifacts like a modern, female Indiana Jones.  The popularity of the Tomb Raider video game spawned two movies in which the full-lipped, big-breasted virtual Lara Croft took the human form of Angelina Jolie.

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Where They Drew The Line

From the trip blog: "The Global Trip 2004: Sixteen Months Around The World"
Posted December 23, 2003

DAY 64:  I was lying in bed in the darkness of my room with no windows when there was a knock on the door.  It was my driver for my transport to the airport — an hour and a half early.  Lizet, the girl I booked the Nazca lines air tour with the day before, must have mixed something up, because I was suddenly on an 8 a.m. flight instead of a 9.  Groggily, I put on my clothes and hopped in the car.  It was the first time things in Peru actually ran ahead of schedule.

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NAZCAR

From the trip blog: "The Global Trip 2004: Sixteen Months Around The World"
Posted December 21, 2003

DAY 63:  Nights in pisco country are great, but the mornings after aren’t so much.  With the absence of my usual greasy Hangover Helpers in New York — Union Square’s McDonald’s, Flatiron District’s Eisenberg’s Sandwich Shop or Chinatown’s Wo Hop — I turned to the regional breakfast specialty, the Tamale Iqueño, a corn dough treat stuffed with pork, olives, beans and spices.  It might not have been greasy enough to make a sheet of paper transparent, but it did the trick.

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Sweet, Sour and Sandy

From the trip blog: "The Global Trip 2004: Sixteen Months Around The World"
Posted December 20, 2003

DAY 62:  Ica, capital city of the department of the same name, is known for two things:  its massive and dramatic surrounding sand dunes (picture below), and its pisco brandy and wine-producing vineyards.  The easiest way to see them both is with a city tour.  At just ten dollars, the tour wasn’t a bad deal considering the amount of free booze samples you get.  And what’s not to like about free booze?

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A Pair of Turtles

From the trip blog: "The Global Trip 2004: Sixteen Months Around The World"
Posted December 20, 2003

DAY 61: I was writing a rough draft in the rooftop cafe of the Lima hostel early in the morning when two new pet animals, a pair of turtles, wandered in and walked under the tables and chairs.  It took sometime for the turtles to get anywhere.

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The Taxis of Miraflores

From the trip blog: "The Global Trip 2004: Sixteen Months Around The World"
Posted December 18, 2003

DAY 60: Just south of Lima is the affluent oceanside suburb of Miraflores, a place that despite its fancy restaurants and hotels, is suggested as “the better place to stay for budget travelers” according to Lonely Planet.  Perhaps this is why the South American Explorers moved their clubhouse there, so it warranted a visit.

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Across Lima and into Mordor

From the trip blog: "The Global Trip 2004: Sixteen Months Around The World"
Posted December 17, 2003

DAY 59: The Lord of the Rings trilogy is a phenomenon in many countries around the globe, Peru included.  Tolkien’s world is very much a part of Peruvian pop culture as it is in the States, and with the worldwide December 17th release of the third film, Peruvian nerds, like their North American and European counterparts, lined up in hordes to see El Retorno del Rey.  In fact, a front page article in the national newspaper El Comercio had a picture of the hundreds of Peruvian nerds who sat in theaters for ten hours straight watching all three movies back to back to back.

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Looking for Christmas in Lima

From the trip blog: "The Global Trip 2004: Sixteen Months Around The World"
Posted December 16, 2003

DAY 58: Call me old-fashioned, but during the holiday season, I like it to feel a little bit like Christmas — you know, with the trees and decorations and people following shoppers leaving the mall to snatch their parking space, only to find out they were just dropping off bags in the trunk.  Being in the jungle city of Iquitos, I was far away from anything remotely resembling a stereotypical Christmas, and so it was time to move on.

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Amazon Dot Com

From the trip blog: "The Global Trip 2004: Sixteen Months Around The World"
Posted December 16, 2003

DAY 57: I was off to drop my laundry off in Iquitos to wash out the stench of vinegar-flavored yogurt and bug spray, when I ran into Richard on the street again.  It was weird, because the run-in didn’t feel random — it was like he was waiting for me to come out so he could ask if I wanted him to guide me to the zoo that he mentioned to me the week before.

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Survivor: The Amazon

From the trip blog: "The Global Trip 2004: Sixteen Months Around The World"
Posted December 15, 2003

DAY 56: I woke up around three in the morning to the sound of a distant static.  Gradually the white noise got closer and closer until it started pouring rain in camp.  The wind blew out all the mosquito candles, leaving base camp completely dark.  Perhaps it was best this way because it hid the fact that, when I woke up in the morning, I found a tarantula in my bed frame.

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Slimy Yet Satisfying

From the trip blog: "The Global Trip 2004: Sixteen Months Around The World"
Posted December 15, 2003

DAY 55: Juan and I woke at dawn and left our things in camp to go on a morning hike.  We walked along a trail, on logs, through creeks, looking at the different medicinal plants.  Juan showed me a coconut tree with small coconuts the size of a fist, which he cut open with his machete.  Inside were butterfly larvae that had hatched from eggs their mother had injected inside, to use the fruit and protection of the coconut to nurse them.

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In Deeper With A Really Big Knife

From the trip blog: "The Global Trip 2004: Sixteen Months Around The World"
Posted December 15, 2003

DAY 54:  Alone in my hut in my mosquito net tent, I heard rustling outside, followed by the sounds of small footsteps of monkeys.  Suddenly one of them landed on the roof of my mosquito net and so I grabbed my things and ran off to the main hut — not for fear of monkey bites, but that they’d steal my stuff.  When I got into the main hut, I saw that a monkey had gotten in and taken a scoop of rice before running off.

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Monkey Business

From the trip blog: "The Global Trip 2004: Sixteen Months Around The World"
Posted December 15, 2003

DAY 53:  My lip had swollen down about half way from the night before, and sensation was coming back, which was a good thing being mistletoe season — not that there was any mistletoe around.  In the steamy jungle, it was the exact opposite of “looking a lot like Christmas.”

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Welcome to the Jungle

From the trip blog: "The Global Trip 2004: Sixteen Months Around The World"
Posted December 15, 2003

DAY 52:  I bid farewell to the hostel desk attendant — who, hearing that I was from New York, assumed I was Puerto Rican — and rode with Andres to the docks.  He put me in a motorboat taxi for the three hour ride upstream on the Amazon.

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Urban Jungle

From the trip blog: "The Global Trip 2004: Sixteen Months Around The World"
Posted December 09, 2003

DAY 51: Like Tarzan swinging from vine to vine in the jungle, I swung from person-I-could-possibly-trust to person-I-could-possibly-trust.  With the girls off on a flight back to Lima, I only had Richard to turn to for advice — which was a good thing in an urban jungle crawling with Shady Tour Men trying to make a quick buck.  Knowing a local also came in handy when I noticed the massive army that came marching into town in full attack gear with crossbows, missile launchers and machine guns.

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Houses On Stilts

From the trip blog: "The Global Trip 2004: Sixteen Months Around The World"
Posted December 08, 2003

DAY 50:  You would think that Amazonian city of Iquitos, the largest city in the world without any connecting roads, would be reminiscent of a lost Shangri-La or an ancient city out of a Tarzan set.  The fact is, Iquitos, the Amazon River’s first port during the rubber industry boom, now has over 500,000 residents and is a bustling modern city — it was evident as soon as we arrived at the port.

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Tally Me Banana

From the trip blog: "The Global Trip 2004: Sixteen Months Around The World"
Posted December 08, 2003

DAY 49: The sun was already up when our cargo ship stopped in Maripoto, a tiny village on the riverbank where the Rio Huallaga meets the Rio Marañon.  It was the first of many stops along the way where we picked up bunches and bunches of bananas.

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